One of the most common complaints about Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem is that it is way too dark to see anything. I think most viewers will attest to this. My question is why is it that way? It actually affects how the film is interpreted, so I want to know why such a mistake was made.
The film had persistent problems with lighting, as can be seen in the video below. When the light wasn't bright enough, rather than resetting (causing delay while the set and lighting are altered), the directors seems to have been content to simply film and hope that it could be fixed in post-production.
Additionally, the dim lighting was supposed to cover the low budget effects. In the hands of a master filmmaker like Jim Cameron, this might have been an effective ruse but in the hands of two inexperienced directors (who'd mainly shot music videos and done VFX), this "trick" simply led to a bad film being made worse.
The one thing I noticed about all the footage is that the movie is dark and a lot of it looks like it takes place in the rain. When we spoke to the brothers they admitted that was their plan. While I don’t have their exact words, they told us that you can’t show the Aliens in too much light or you’ll know it’s someone in a costume. That’s why all the battles in this film will be in dark places with limited light.
Colin Strause: "One of the trickier things too was it’s one thing when you’ve got like all the geeky fans who know everything watch the movie. They go oh I know that’s obviously a warrior alien ,I know that’s the Pred-Alien but the biggest issue we had with the design is because we’re going so dark with the movie and there’s a lot of rain and atmosphere and everything is a normal person watching the movie going to be able to tell the difference? That was like one of our biggest tricks, because we knew that hardcore fans would get it instantly but good design also has to appeal to people who don’t give a shit about the franchises—just want to go see a movie and they go and actually like it. We had to make sure we included all those people in it as well, so that was one of the things making sure…we cheated the pigmentation a little bit more yellow on her and just things so that if you just see flashes of her at least a general audience member would be able to track it but at the same time not watering down the design or anything to make it kind of generic."